Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
and epitaphs; some of them in hieroglyphic characters; others in the Ionic dialect; some in the Arabic, Agarenian, Slavonian, and other tongues; of which Epistemon took an exact account.  In the interim, Panurge said to Friar John, Is this the island of the Macreons?  Macreon signifies in Greek an old man, or one much stricken in years.  What is that to me? said Friar John; how can I help it?  I was not in the country when they christened it.  Now I think on’t, quoth Panurge, I believe the name of mackerel (Motteux adds, between brackets,—­’that’s a Bawd in French.’) was derived from it; for procuring is the province of the old, as buttock-riggling is that of the young.  Therefore I do not know but this may be the bawdy or Mackerel Island, the original and prototype of the island of that name at Paris.  Let’s go and dredge for cock-oysters.  Old Macrobius asked, in the Ionic tongue, How, and by what industry and labour, Pantagruel got to their port that day, there having been such blustering weather and such a dreadful storm at sea.  Pantagruel told him that the Almighty Preserver of mankind had regarded the simplicity and sincere affection of his servants, who did not travel for gain or sordid profit, the sole design of their voyage being a studious desire to know, see, and visit the Oracle of Bacbuc, and take the word of the Bottle upon some difficulties offered by one of the company; nevertheless this had not been without great affliction and evident danger of shipwreck.  After that, he asked him what he judged to be the cause of that terrible tempest, and if the adjacent seas were thus frequently subject to storms; as in the ocean are the Ratz of Sammaieu, Maumusson, and in the Mediterranean sea the Gulf of Sataly, Montargentan, Piombino, Capo Melio in Laconia, the Straits of Gibraltar, Faro di Messina, and others.

Chapter 4.XXVI.

How the good Macrobius gave us an account of the mansion and decease of the heroes.

The good Macrobius then answered, Friendly strangers, this island is one of the Sporades; not of your Sporades that lie in the Carpathian sea, but one of the Sporades of the ocean; in former times rich, frequented, wealthy, populous, full of traffic, and in the dominions of the rulers of Britain, but now, by course of time, and in these latter ages of the world, poor and desolate, as you see.  In this dark forest, above seventy-eight thousand Persian leagues in compass, is the dwelling-place of the demons and heroes that are grown old, and we believe that some one of them died yesterday; since the comet which we saw for three days before together, shines no more; and now it is likely that at his death there arose this horrible storm; for while they are alive all happiness attends both this and the adjacent islands, and a settled calm and serenity.  At the death of every one of them, we commonly hear in the forest loud and mournful groans, and the whole

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